When the curse had finally broken, Mary Margaret assumed that she’d be spending most of her time with David and Emma, but with everything going on lately, she found it difficult to spend any sort of quality time with either of them. She and Emma were barely on speaking terms, and she and David rarely had the same schedule. Mary Margaret was tied up at school most of the day, and David was still working at the shelter.
Mary Margaret decided this morning that it would be a wonderful idea to pick up lunch at Granny’s and surprise David at work for a little alone time. They had been cursed to coexist within Storybrooke together for so long, but with David in a coma they hadn’t really been together since the day she gave birth to Emma. She felt as though on some level, due to all the time that had passed, that they needed to reconnect all over again. It didn’t help that they weren’t seeing eye to eye with regards to how to handle the ‘Emma’ situation, so Mary Margaret hoped that some special time together would do the trick.
As Mary Margaret pulled the door open to Granny’s, she was immediately greeted by the bright smile of her best friend, Ruby Lucas.
“Hey there, stranger.” Ruby said playfully as Mary Margaret settled onto a stool at the counter. “What can I get for you today?”
“Hey.” Mary Margaret returned with a warm smile. “Can I get a grilled cheese and a BLT to go, please?”
“Who’s our mystery diner? Wait, let me guess, is it Emma?” Ruby asked, not waiting for an answer. She immediately observed Mary Margaret’s expression darken at the sound of her daughter’s name.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed…” Ruby apologized, as she passed the lunch order back to Granny in the kitchen.
Mary Margaret frowned and looked up at Ruby with the saddest of eyes that were already glistening with the beginnings of tears.
“Did something happen between you two?” Ruby prompted the pixie haired brunette.
Mary Margaret sighed and kneaded her hands nervously on the counter in front of her.
“No matter what I do or how hard I try, Emma keeps pulling farther away from me. We’re supposed to finally be a family, but now it’s as if we’re still literally worlds apart. Even before the curse broke…when we were just friends and roommates to each other, we were close. Emma even said that she considered me family when I was just Mary Margaret to her - but now, it’s worse than as if we were strangers. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever be able to get past this.”
Ruby laid a sympathetic hand over Mary Margaret’s and gave them a gentle squeeze. She leaned over and locked eyes with the brunette.
“I know things are difficult right now, but Emma just needs time to adjust. She will come around.” Ruby reassured her.
Mary Margaret shook her head in exasperation.
“This whole situation with Henry and Regina – it’s just complicating everything. I can’t seem to get any time with my own daughter and grandson without Regina getting involved. I went over to the station yesterday to invite Emma and Henry to dinner with David and I, and Emma immediately turned me down saying she needed to ask Regina first. Can you believe it? My daughter needs permission from that woman to take her son to dinner with her parents. Regina is coming between us once again and I don’t know how to eliminate Regina from the equation without losing Emma for good.”
Ruby gave Mary Margaret an understanding look, but she couldn’t comprehend the degree of her best friend’s naiveté.
“You know that something is going on between them, right?” she asked almost rhetorically.
Mary Margaret paled considerably at the question and lowered her voice significantly so that the other patrons wouldn’t overhear her.
“I’ve gathered that much. Emma won’t talk to me about it but I’m sure that she has feelings for Regina and that they…appear to be reciprocated.” Mary Margaret said with a sharp air of distain as if the taste of the words themselves were foul.
“Yeah, I hate to break it to you, but they’ve pretty much already U-Hauled it. I’m not sure there’s much you can do about stopping their relationship now.” Ruby said matter-of-factly, leaning over the counter on her forearms.
“U-Hauled?” Mary Margaret questioned with a confused expression.
“You know…they’ve already shacked up together…and they share a son. It doesn’t get more ‘relationshippy’ than that.”
“Oh god.” Mary Margaret said, burying her face in her hands and trying to purge her mind of the thought of her daughter and her former stepmother being intimate with each other. For a moment she thought she would be physically sick.
After a few deep calming breaths she was able to continue. “Even if Regina is attracted to Emma, that doesn’t mean she isn’t using her to get what she wants. Being close with Emma means she gets to have full access to Henry. I just don’t know why Emma doesn’t see it.”
Ruby cleared he throat awkwardly. “Uh, well, Regina is smoking hot, you know that right?”
Mary Margaret shot an icy glare at Ruby.
“Even so…I don’t think Emma is that shallow. Regina has her ways of getting close to people. She knows just what to say and how to act to get precisely what she wants. I need to get Emma away from her, I just don’t know how…” Mary Margaret trailed off dejectedly.
Ruby bit at her lower lip contemplation of Mary Margaret’s predicament. After a few moments an idea suddenly came to her.
“What if you’ve been going about this the wrong way?”
Mary Margaret’s head tilted slightly and her forehead scrunched in confusion.
“What do you mean?”
Ruby looked around to ensure no one was listening and leaned in a bit further towards her friend.
“Well, so far you’ve been trying to reason with Emma about Regina, right?”
“Yes, and that clearly hasn’t worked out very well for me.” Mary Margaret answered disappointedly.
“Exactly. Maybe you should try a different angle and try talking to Regina instead.”
Mary Margaret raised a skeptical eyebrow at her friend.
“You honestly think Regina would back off if I asked her to?”
“Let’s put it this way. If she really cares about Emma, maybe she’ll listen, and just maybe she’ll put some distance between them. If she’s in it for selfish reasons only, I think you’ll be able to tell. You know her better than anyone.” Ruby explained, while grabbing Mary Margaret’s to-go order from the kitchen.
“I guess you do have a point.” Mary Margaret conceded while taking the paper bag from Ruby. “Emma did say that she’d like Regina and I to work out our differences. If I could just talk to Regina one-on-one without Emma around, maybe I can get to the bottom of all of this.”
It was such a brilliant idea, Mary Margaret thought. She’d call Regina and invite her over to talk. Either she’d expose Regina for what she suspected she was up to, or perhaps they’d truly be able to work out their differences. Either way, it would get her one step closer to having a relationship with Emma.
“Thanks for the advice…and the lunch.” Mary Margaret said, gesturing at the paper bag in her hand and leaving some bills on the counter for Ruby as she darted eagerly out the door to call Regina.
Ruby watched Mary Margaret as she hurried out of Granny’s. When the door shut behind her, Ruby’s lips pulled into a devious smirk.
“So your grand plan is to have Snow White talk out her feelings with Regina? I fail to see how this will assist you in back your daughter’s affections.” Hook questioned as Cora carefully returned Ruby’s heart to a leather satchel and pulled the drawstring shut.
“You seem to be forgetting what brought everyone to this land in the first place. Regina’s hatred for Snow compelled her lay the curse in order to deprive her of her happiness. Do you honestly think either of them will be able to set aside their complicated history in order to come to an agreement about this Emma?”
It was clear to Hook that Cora’s intentions were to manipulate her daughter into running back to her for comfort. He certainly wasn’t the most upstanding citizen, but even he could never imagine treating his own flesh and blood in that manner.
“You intend for all of this to backfire…all just to make her ripe for the picking. Well aren’t you mum of the year?” Hook replied, with an obvious air of judgment to his voice.
Despite Hook’s overt taunts, the woman never seemed to be rattled by anything. She was always composed, confident, and in control.
“Regina will thank me later for everything that I’ve done for her. These people are no good for her and I will do anything that I need to do to remind her that she was destined for more than this pathetic existence.”
“And once you reunite with your daughter we will go after the crocodile?”
“Of course. Combined, Regina and I are strong enough to overpower anyone – even the Dark One.”
Mary Margaret strode with confidence down the street with her lunch tucked under one arm, eagerly dialing Regina’s number with her phone in her other hand. As she pinned the phone to her ear with her shoulder, she waited through several painstaking rings for the line to finally pick up.
“Mary Margaret. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“We need to talk.”
“I suppose we do.”
“Are you available this afternoon around 3? My place?”
“I’ll have Emma pick up Henry from school. I’ll see you at 3:30.
Despite their conversation not straying much from formalities, Mary Margaret was still hopeful that the discussion with Regina would be fruitful. With that, she returned the phone to her coat pocket and rushed off to have an intimate lunch with her husband.
Regina had been surprised when she saw Mary Margaret’s name pop up on her cell phone. She sought to honor Emma’s request for tolerance with regards to Mary Margaret, so instead of letting it go to voicemail, she picked up the call on the third ring.
When Mary Margaret suggested that they talk, she reluctantly agreed. Emma had suggested that her and Mary Margaret attempt to work out their differences, so the least she could do was endure a conversation with the woman.
Once the phone call ended with Mary Margaret she called Emma.
“Hey. Do you think you can pick Henry up from school after your shift? Your mother called. She wants to talk.”
“Oh. Yeah, sure, I’d love to spend some time with the kid. Just promise me a hellmouth won’t open with the two of you in the same room.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer…?”
“I hate to disappoint you dear, but I have not.”
“It’s now on the running list of things you and I are going to watch... Is it okay if I take Henry out for a bit? I think him and I need a little fun time.”
“Yes – just don’t spoil him too much, and make sure he has enough time to complete his homework. I will be home in time to prepare dinner.”
“Okay, see you then.”
Regina stared at the phone in her hand and couldn’t help but feel a looming concern regarding the discussion she was going to have with Mary Margaret. Of course Regina had the best of intentions, but she knew how easily emotions flared in the presence of Snow White of all people.
Regina had promised Emma that she would try to work things out with Mary Margaret, so she would stay true to her word. She owed Emma that much.
Mary Margaret had been waiting anxiously for Regina’s arrival since she got home from school. When the knock was heard at her door, she was already so worked up that she nearly jumped out of her skin. She rushed towards the door, but forcibly slowed herself down as she neared it, counting to five and taking a deep breath before turning the knob and pulling open the door.
“Regina.” Mary Margaret said, as she inclined her head towards her guest.
“Snow.” Regina returned, moving past Mary Margaret into the entryway of the loft.
Mary Margaret shut the door and turned towards Regina.
“Would you like a cup of tea? I just put the pot on.”
Regina pulled off her trench coat and hung it on the rack near the door.
“Yes, thank you.”
Mary Margaret hurried back to the kitchen to prepare the tea as Regina lingered silently in the foyer.
Regina avoided touching anything like the plague as it appeared as though every surface in Mary Margaret’s apartment was encased in a layer of something filthy or god forbid, sticky.
Mary Margaret prepared the tea and set two mugs down on the table in the living room and motioned for Regina to take a seat across from her on the sofa.
Regina sat down across from Mary Margaret and primly crossed her legs. She pulled uneasily at her pencil skirt, attempting to smooth out invisible creases.
After a few uncomfortable moments of silence, Mary Margaret figured that she should be the one to begin the conversation as it was her suggestion that they meet to talk in the first place.
“I asked you here for a specific reason, Regina. You and I have had our differences, but we have one thing in common right now, and that is Emma. All of our feelings about past aside, what are your intentions with my daughter?”
Regina gritted her teeth together and thought carefully about how to approach that question with Mary Margaret. Her intentions with Emma were nothing but honorable but she hadn’t exactly planned out their future for them, nor had she and Emma had an opportunity to discuss what exactly they were or what they intended to be to one another.
Regina wanted nothing more than to tell the pixie-haired brunette to take her questions and shove them up a dark place, but Regina reminded herself that she was here for Emma and for Henry. This conversation was going to happen eventually whether she wanted it to or not, so she did her best to answer calmly and truthfully.
“I care deeply for Emma and I have no intentions of hurting her.” She said in a low tone, wrapping her hands tightly around the mug Mary Margaret had deposited in front of her and taking a small sip.
Regina appeared to be telling the truth, but Mary Margaret wasn’t satisfied just yet.
“But why Emma? Why my daughter, of all people? You could have anyone, Regina.”
Regina rolled her eyes at her former stepdaughter, placing the mug back down on the table in front of her.
“It’s not as though I intended to develop feelings for the child of my greatest enemy!” Regina snapped, gesturing at Mary Margaret with her hand.
Regina felt her anger rising to a boil inside her and fought to force it back down and remain in control. She could easily kill Mary Margaret without lifting a finger, but for her to have any chance at a relationship with Emma and Henry, she needed to make this work.
Regina exhaled deeply and looked up once again at Mary Margaret. This time, she continued in a more patient tone.
“This is the last thing I would have ever wanted for myself, but that doesn’t change what Emma and I feel for one another.”
As Regina spoke of her feelings for Emma, Mary Margaret noticed the softness that overtook her eyes. It was clear that Regina felt something for Emma, but that didn’t mean that her intentions were pure. Mary Margaret’s heart was telling her to believe the woman who had one once selflessly saved her life, but reason reminded her that Regina betrayed her at every turn. When it came to Emma and Henry, she felt that she should owed it to them to be cautious.
“I can’t help but think that this fling with Emma is you still trying to get back at me for what happened to Daniel. Your curse failed, so now you’re getting close to Emma in order to keep Henry and continue to torment me in the process!”
Regina let out a low mocking chuckle.
“Don’t flatter yourself, dear.” Regina said as she waved her hand dismissively in her former stepdaughter’s direction. “As insufferable as I find you, and regardless of how much I still blame you for what happened to Daniel, I grew tired of that whole endeavor years ago. My happy ending is no longer dependent upon your eternal misery - all I need is my son.”
Mary Margaret was taken aback by how easily their blood feud was dismissed by Regina. After all of the time they spent literally waging wars against each other, she couldn’t believe how easily Regina had abandoned it for – of all things – motherhood. If Regina’s concerns were about being a good mother, first and foremost, then she had to appreciate Mary Margaret’s concerns regarding Emma.
“Then you must understand how I feel about Emma. You’ve taken her away from me twice now. All I want to do is get to know her and to be a part of her life – of Henry’s life. What if someone prevented you from being with Henry? It’s hurting me and its hurting Emma. If you truly care for her as you say, you won’t let this continue.”
“Then what is it that you suggest?” Regina asked with bite to her tone, attempting to mask the pain that Mary Margaret’s words caused her by channeling the icy demeanor of the Evil Queen.
“Regardless of what you may believe, I have made no attempt to interfere in your relationship with Emma.”
Mary Margaret shook her head at her former stepmother and snapped up with frustration from her chair. She turned to face away from Regina, folding her arms tightly across her chest. When she snapped around to meet Regina’s gaze her eyes were pleading.
“Can’t you see that her relationship with you is what is destroying her? She’s unable to deal with anything else right now because she’s too busy worrying about you! I’m concerned for her, and being wedged in between us is only causing her more pain.”
Regina’s breath caught in her lungs as though someone had reached in to pull her heart straight from her chest. The idea that she could the source of Emma’s troubles was too painful of a burden for her to bear.
“Do you have a point or do you just wish to blame me for everything going wrong with your daughter?” Regina snapped angrily, but her voice cracked ever so slightly.
“Ask her to move out.” Mary Margaret blurted out while she still had the courage.
“What?” Regina asked, thrown off completely by what sounded almost like a command.
“Living there with you and Henry – it’s too much too soon. If she has her own place I think it will help.” Mary Margaret explained tentatively.
Regina pushed out of her chair and bridged the gap between her and Mary Margaret.
“So you’re telling me that I should kick Emma out of my house? You honestly think that will bode well for her mental and emotional stability? If I send her away it will affirm every fear she has about getting close to anyone. Do you really want to do that to her? You might as well buy her a one way ticket back to Boston!”
Mary Margaret swallowed what felt like a golf ball in her throat. No matter what form Regina was in, Evil Queen, the Mayor, or just Regina, she was unnervingly intimidating. Her mouth felt agonizingly dry all of a sudden and she wished that her cup of tea was still within reach.
“I’m not saying that you should just kick her out. Just…tell her you want things to slow down and that you think it will be better for all of you in the long run. I’m not asking you to break up with her, Regina…I’m just asking you to give her space.”
“We’re not together!” Regina shouted back at Mary Margaret reflexively.
Regina had been shocked by her own outburst. “I..I don’t know what we are, and frankly it isn’t any of your business.” she responded with an almost imperceptible quiver to her voice.
Mary Margaret’s expression softened a little and she gave Regina a sympathetic look. She knew Regina well enough to understand how hard it was for her to express anything akin to actual feelings.
“Regardless of whether or not you’re actually in a relationship, you are something to each other, Regina. You said it yourself. As much as I hate to admit it, she will listen to you.”
Regina considered Mary Margaret’s proposition for a moment. Perhaps things with Emma were going a bit fast, and although it wasn’t causing an issue for her, it may be overwhelming for Emma. There was no way she’d ask Emma to move out, but perhaps having a conversation with her about what was best for both of them may not be a bad idea.
“To prove to you that I have changed, I’ll talk to Emma. I won’t make any promises because I refuse to rob her of the ability to choose for herself. There is no greater agony than being unable to control your own destiny.”
Without waiting for a response, Regina strode over to the door, grabbed her trench coat from the hook and slung it gracefully over her shoulders.
“Regina, wait.” she heard Mary Margaret call hesitantly from behind her as she took a step towards her.
“What else could you possibly want from me?” Regina snarled as she turned back around.
“I just wanted to..thank you.” Mary Margaret stuttered.
“No need to thank me, dear. Regardless of whether or not we had this little chat, I have always and will always have Emma’s best interests at heart.”
Satisfied that she had sufficiently made her point, she spun on her heel and exited the loft, the rickety door clattering shut behind her.
Excited to spend some quality one-on-one time with her son, Emma pulled up to the school a few minutes early and sat in her cruiser, eagerly waiting for Henry to appear.
Before the curse broke, she used to greet Henry right outside, standing with the other parents. After everything that’s happened with the curse, a little space was probably what he wanted, especially when your mothers are the Savior and the Evil Queen. With everything the kid had been through, he deserved some consideration, so she decided to wait for him in the cruiser.
Emma found herself tapping her fingers impatiently on the steering wheel as she watched the clock tick painstakingly closer to 3:30. She was nervous about how everything would go with Regina and Mary Margaret, but she was also trying to stay focused on Henry.
“One thing at a time, Swan.” she muttered to herself, blowing out a long puff of air.
She then caught sight of Henry in the corner of her eye, exiting the school with a group of other kids. Henry looked around for several moments before he realized Emma was waiting there for him instead of Regina. His previously carefree expression disappeared, and he jogged across the street towards the cruiser with a look of dread.
“Emma…” he choked out as she stepped out of the cruiser to greet him.
“Everything’s fine, kid.” she reassured him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Your mom had some things to do, so I figured I’d pick you up and we could spend some time together. That sound okay?”
“Sure.” He nodded, forcing a smile.
Emma opened the passenger door of the cruiser for Henry to get in. After she hopped into her side of the car and settled into the driver’s seat, she turned to address Henry’s sudden change in demeanor.
“You know I wouldn’t lie to you about your mom, right?” she said, hoping that her son would reveal what exactly was on his mind.
“Yeah.” Henry said flatly.
“Then why do you still look like I ran over your dog?”
Henry shot Emma a glare that looked way too much like Regina’s.
After a moment he let out a tired sigh and continued tentatively. “I know this may sound weird, but...sometimes I miss how things were before the curse broke.”
“What do you mean?” she prompted him gently for clarification.
“Even though I knew something wasn’t right, it was normal. It felt…safe.”
Emma’s heart sank. She desperately wanted to reach out to him and pull him tightly against her and never let go, but she held herself back. In order to help the kid, she had to keep him talking.
“And you don’t feel safe now?” she asked, managing to mask the sadness behind her voice.
Henry fiddled apprehensively with the straps on his backpack and pulled it closer to his chest.
“I do, I just…I feel like something bad can happen to you or mom…and it’s all because of me. If I hadn’t forced you to break the curse…you would both be safer.” Henry said almost shamefully, averting his eyes.
Now that her son revealed what was troubling him she gave in to the overwhelming need for contact. She reached over and gently gave his forearm a squeeze until he looked back up at her.
“Oh, Henry…none of what’s happening is your fault. This curse, me being the savior, well…it was years in the making and nothing either of us did was going to change that. I know things seem a little scary right now but I promise you, nothing is going to happen to your mom or me. Things will get better, it’s just going to take a little time for us to sort it all out.”
Henry managed a small but genuine smile in return to Emma’s words.
“I hope so. I just want everyone to be happy. We’re finally all together again…”
“Me too, Henry.”
They sat in a comfortable silence for a few moments, appreciating that they both finally had what they wanted – a family – and they both wanted nothing more than to hold onto it with everything they had.
“So…” Emma said awkwardly, pulling her hand away to turn the key in the ignition with the eight cylinders of the cruiser roaring to life.
“What do you say we hit up the arcade for a few rounds of Street Fighter? And this time no spamming hadokens with Ryu…that’s basically cheating.”
Henry returned the suggestion with an impish grin. “Fineeeee! But if I win, you have to buy me this week’s issue of Batman.”
“Yeah, sure, if you win, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve…you haven’t seen me play with Cammy yet…” she warned him with a comical waggle of her eyebrows as she pulled the cruiser from the curb onto the roadway and began making their way towards the arcade.
After dinner, Regina had sent Henry upstairs to get ready for bed and the two women settled onto the couch in the TV room for a relaxing night at home.
Regina had nestled herself comfortably within Emma’s arms and they were both covered in a warm throw blanket. Resting her head against Emma’s chest she could feel the soft thudding of the blonde’s steady heartbeat in her ear. Emma had her hands resting over Regina’s and was running her thumb absentmindedly across Regina’s skin. In that moment she felt so completely relaxed – so safe and warm – that she could almost be lulled to sleep by the comforting sound of Emma’s heartbeat.
They hadn’t bridged the subject of what occurred during Regina’s time at Mary Margaret’s apartment during dinner for obvious reasons, but Emma was overflowing with curiosity. It was mostly due to the fact that she didn’t get scathing phone calls from either woman and that neither of them appeared to be physically harmed, but regardless, she had to know what happened. She caught herself nearly wearing a groove into Regina’s hand where she had been caressing it, and figured it was now or never.
“So…how did things go with Mary Margaret today?” Emma asked, clearly sidestepping any attempt at subtlety. Emma’s approach with things after all, was more…‘beat things over the head with a blunt object’, Regina mused.
Regina had assumed that it was only a matter of time before Emma would bring up the subject since it was clear that the brunette had been specifically avoiding it. As much as Regin knew that she and Emma had things they needed to discuss, the blonde seemed to be content and the last thing she wanted to do was hurt her.
Regina had decided that she would not ask Emma to move out as Mary Margaret had suggested, but would take care to pay more attention to the blonde’s concerns and ensure that she took her needs into account. They would talk more at some point about their arrangement, but Regina selfishly wanted to enjoy a peaceful night alone with Emma.
In order to avoid an argument and to avoid lying to the blonde, Regina thought it would be best to give Emma the truthful but abridged version of the events.
“As well as could be anticipated I suppose.” Regina answered vaguely in a tired hum against Emma’s skin.
Emma narrowed her eyes down at the brunette, curious as to why she was holding back from her. Regina was not one to be shy about her feelings regarding Mary Margaret and she could always tell when Regina wasn’t being forthcoming.
“That wasn’t quite the answer I was expecting…” Emma said, hoping that Regina would continue with some sort of more detailed explanation.
“As much as your mother and I haven’t seen eye-to-eye in the past, we do share the same concerns regarding you and Henry.” Regina elaborated.
Regina could feel Emma’s heartbeat quicken beneath her.
“Oh god…you didn’t tell her about us, did you? I mean…what does she know, does she know we? God I think I’m gonna be sick -” Emma rambled until she felt Regina squeeze her hand.
“ - I’d never share details of such a personal nature, dear, that certainly is none of her business. However, she did know enough. A mother always knows that sort of thing.”
Regina’s mind drifted back to when Cora found out about Daniel. Despite the measures she had taken to ensure that her mother wouldn’t find out about their relationship, she knew something was going on. A mother always knows.
“So does this mean the two of you will be getting along from now on?” Emma said in a light tone, but truly hoped for a serious answer. All she wanted was peace between the women and a chance to start over here in Storybrooke.
Regina sighed and wrapped an arm around Emma’s chest, squeezing her tighter against her body.
“We may have some common interests, but our methods are entirely different.”
“So…that’s a maybe?” Emma asked tentatively, scrunching her face adorably.
“It means we’re trying, my dear.” Regina said, trying her best not to take all of the wind out of the blonde’s sails.
“Well, I guess that’s a start, right?” Emma said hopefully, tightening her embrace around Regina and placing a gentle kiss on her head.
Regina murmured in agreement against Emma and they enjoyed the closeness and the warmth in a few minutes of contended silence.
“As much as I’m enjoying you and this, I’ve got a little gift for you that I picked up while I was out with the kid today.” Emma revealed.
“A gift? What for?” Regina asked, perplexed as to what occasion would inspire the blonde to get her a gift.
Emma shrugged. “Just because. When Henry and I were out this afternoon, I spotted it and I couldn’t resist buying it for you.”
Regina tried not to groan in protest as the blonde wiggled from her grasp and dashed into another room to grab the gift. Suddenly cold and empty on the couch, Regina waited eagerly for Emma to re-appear as she pulled the blanket tightly around her trying to retain any remaining warmth.
After what felt like centuries but was probably only a minute or so, Emma reappeared, almost stumbling into the room with something hidden behind her back. She knelt in front of Regina, brimming with nervousness and excitement.
After a few moments she whipped an arm around from behind her back and proudly displayed the gift with both hands in front of her, waiting for Regina’s reaction.
It took Regina a few moments to realize what exactly the blonde was holding.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” she inquired with a sassy drawl.
“Yes ma’am.” Emma confirmed proudly with a glimmer in her eyes as she held the box set. “You keep promising you’ll watch stuff with me, and now we finally have a night to ourselves…so…this is the perfect opportunity! Plus, I mean, Buffy is classic. You need to see it.”
Regina rolled her eyes at the blonde, but softened the blow with a bright smile.
“Alright, dear. If it would please you...” she said feigning reluctant agreement.
Emma flushed. “Woman, if you start talking about what will please me we won’t get through one episode of this thing!” she said, shaking the box set.
“Oh!” Emma said suddenly as her face lit up with excitement. “You load this up while I go make us some popcorn! This is gonna be awesome!!” she said as she practically shoved the box set into Regina’s hands and ran off into the kitchen to make the popcorn.
Regina couldn’t help but smile and chuckle softly and the blonde’s child-like enthusiasm as she darted from the room. The brunette had seen so much of the darker and serious side of Emma lately. It was refreshing to see her enjoying herself and feeling at home, for what she was sure was a first for Emma.
Five minutes later Emma plopped back onto the couch with a gigantic bowl of excessively salty and buttery popcorn. Much to Regina’s surprise, the blonde came prepared with a pile of napkins as well as tall glasses of water (to counteract the salt, no doubt).
Emma chomped enthusiastically on fistfuls of popcorn while Regina daintily deposited the occasional kernel into her mouth, chewing with her mouth closed and dabbing at her fingers and mouth with a napkin.
Between scenes Emma turned to observe Regina’s bizarre popcorn eating practices and decided that something had to be done. Stuffing an aggressively large and buttery fistful of popcorn into her mouth, and being sure to get plenty of butter all over her face she leaned over towards the brunette.
“Hey, Regina, I think you missed a spot.” she mumbled through a mouthful of popcorn as she closed the gap between the women and planted a gigantic buttery kiss on the brunette’s lips as she turned towards her.
Regina pushed Emma back playfully and wiped away all of the stray butter with her napkin as Emma continued to chomp away at another fistful of popcorn with a grin on her face. Regina was sure that Emma was chewing like that just to proudly display all of the stray kernels in her teeth.
“You are a neanderthal, Miss Swan.” Regina said, unable to hide her smile.
“Well I don’t know who taught you to eat popcorn but you were doing it wrong. I was forced to take matters into my own hands.” Emma said matter-of-factly as she tossed a kernel at Regina, hitting her square in the nose before dropping onto the floor.
Regina wiggled her nose and leaned in slowly towards Emma, so close that their lips were almost touching.
“I’m beginning to think you’re just trying to get a rise out of me.” Regina said in a low sultry voice.
“Maybe…” Emma egged her on a bit. “But that’s for after we get a few good episodes of Buffy in. After all, if you’re going to be giving me magic lessons, you should know where my only knowledge on the subject comes from.”
“They practice magic as well? I thought this was about the tiny blonde girl killing all of the vampires?” Regina inquired with an adorable look of genuine confusion on her face.
“Well if we would actually pay attention, you would know that there’s a whole world of magic that goes along with the slaying…and a lot of snark. Seriously this show was made for you I don’t know how you haven’t watched it yet.” Emma rambled.
“Alright dear, but after we watch, I get to give you a few lessons of my own…” Regina said, closing the microscopic gap between them and capturing Emma’s lips in a passionate kiss. Nipping and sucking at Emma’s salty lower lip, the brunette couldn’t help but let out a low moan, being turned on by her own assertiveness.
When they finally separated, Emma appeared glossed over with lust, her jaw still hanging open with surprise.
“Okay…maybe just one more episode…” Emma stuttered, settling back into less tempting position next to the brunette. Clearing her throat she threw an arm around Regina and pulled her close.
Regina cocked and eyebrow at the blonde and turned back towards the television, content to watch whatever Emma wanted as long as she could remain this happy and carefree.